Michael Sam gets some tough press in Canada


Publicly, Michael Sam has been embraced by the Canadian Football League since signing with the Montreal Alouettes. Privately, some CFL insiders seem to resent the attention Sam is getting.

Sam left the Alouettes before the start of the season and missed last week’s season opener, but he’s now back with the team and expected to take the field at some point and become the first openly gay player to appear in a CFL game. That will generate plenty of publicity in both the United States and Canada, but that publicity isn’t being welcomed by everyone.

The Winnipeg Sun‘s “CFL Blitz” item includes a series of anonymous quotes from CFL coaches and managers, and a couple of those quotes show a less-than-welcoming attitude toward Sam.

“Michael Sam hasn’t played a down of football north of the border and he has gotten a thousand times more recognition than Randy Chevrier, who won the Tom Pate Award [for outstanding sportsmanship and someone who has made a significant contribution to his team, his community and CFLPA]. That’s pathetic. You guys [in the media] should be embarrassed,” one anonymous source said.

Said another anonymous source, “Our players are saying they’re hearing Michael Sam is an American prima donna. Thought he could just show up and dominate our league. Wrong.”

Of course, it’s easy for people to rip Sam while hiding behind anonymity. And it’s something that Sam has had to put up with since he came out: Before he was drafted by the Rams in 2014, there was a spate of anonymous quotes from around the league about concerns that he would be a distraction. Those concerns turned out to be unfounded, as Sam by all accounts fit in during training camp and the preseason, although he wasn’t able to make the 53-player roster.

There’s not much Sam can do about that except play, and play well. If he starts sacking the opposing quarterback on a regular basis, he can shut those anonymous quotes up.

33 responses to “Michael Sam gets some tough press in Canada

  1. would say his brief history as a professional has been one big distraction…has yet to prove he can play in the CFL or NFL…can we move on?

  2. “That will generate plenty of publicity in both the United States and Canada, but that publicity isn’t being welcomed by everyone.”

    The publicity isn’t being welcomed by ANYONE…

  3. “there was a spate of anonymous quotes from around the league about concerns that he would be a distraction. Those concerns turned out to be unfounded”

    What? If anything, those concerns were proven completely true. The media takes the most blame though. Turning the kid into a sideshow, following him everywhere, asking his teammates about his shower habits, etc. All the while, talking about equality yet taking every opportunity to remind everyone how same is different because of his sexuality. They made him “Michael Sam the Gay Football Player” instead of Michael Sam, a football player who happens to be gay. Complete hypocracy. The “distraction” that people referred to with Sam was not that with Sam himself, but with the media that followed him asking teammate ridiculous questions about Michael Sam’s lockerroom etiquette rather than anything to do with football. If Florio and other media members want to bemoan how Sam wasnt given a “fair shot” they can look at themselves when placing blame.

  4. In fairness of those ripping Sam anonymously, lets be honest. If they came out publicly and did it they would be labeled anti-gay and ripped apart by the media. This guy creates enough of a distraction. No need to compound it.

  5. “Before he was drafted by the Rams in 2014, there was a spate of anonymous quotes from around the league about concerns that he would be a distraction. Those concerns turned out to be unfounded,”
    Really? I guess you have forgotten the Oprah Documentary incident.

    I actually hope he gets to play pro ball. But please report in a responsible manner.

  6. “Before he was drafted by the Rams in 2014, there was a spate of anonymous quotes from around the league about concerns that he would be a distraction. Those concerns turned out to be unfounded”

    Last time i checked he has been nothing but a distraction…correct me if I’m wrong Michael David…

  7. the dude cant play at the pro level. he knows it and he hasnt got much mental toughness if he has to leave the team because he is going thru a breakup with his fiance/boyfriend.
    when is the last time you heard about a real football player having to take time off for that?
    lets move on can i say it out loud

  8. MDS is another social justice warrior. Sam has been given multiple chances, has been treated fairly at every step, and has had an unprecedented amount of support for a late round rookie. All the attention was brought upon himself by himself. He has failed. And worse, now he has tapped out and went home because the heat got to be too much. He’s back, good for him, but to paint it like the anonymous sources are unfounded, or that claims he would be a distraction were unfounded is bogus, and deliberately trying to report this story in a one sided fashion. Put your politics aside…he’s a flame out, never made it, who had to run to Canada and now he is flaming out there. I hoped he would succeed, but he did not. Move on. And these sources are right…it IS a joke that he gets more media attention now than stars. He gets this attention because of who he has sex with, not because of his play. That IS embarrassing.

  9. Wait…he wanted to be treated like everyone else, right? Then, why does he get to skip two weeks of practice without giving the media a specific reason?

  10. Look, it’s not like this guy is getting Tim Tebow attention. He made the announcement that he was gay prior to the draft because he didn’t want it to come out another way and he didn’t want to hide it (and he shouldn’t have to). Since then I’ve seen little evidence of him being an attention seeker or acting like he’s entitled. He went to St. Louis an Dallas with a workaday attitude and tried to earn his spot, unsuccessfully. He never complained or played victim when cut and just keeps trying. Maybe he hasn’t handled all the pressure as well as he could have, but I imagine it can be pretty overwhelming.

    These anonymous quotes are cowardly and inaccurate. It would have been easier for everybody if the first openly gay player was a surefire star coming out like a Luck or a Suh or Calvin Johnson so the dominant performances would make the sexual orientation an incidental sidenote. But Sam is a bubble talent he has faced up to the legitimate criticism that he is a tweener or a one trick pony, etc and just kept plugging away.

    The media attention is justified. Every year there’s a Tom Pate Award winner. This will be a historic first and it has captured national and now international attention. But I haven’t seen any expectations of special treatment coming from Sam. It seems like he will succeed ir fail on merit. Ten years from now when every team has an openly gay player and Sam’s career is in the books, hopefully we won’t be looking back at death threats and weekly slurs as part of the history as in other firsts in sports.

  11. Sorry.. but just have to call this one like it is.
    Ridiculous double standards that everyone seems to be using with this guy.
    What the LBTGQ lobby and supporters would have you think is ultimately wanted is to treat all LBTGQ people “just the same” as a straight person. Same rights, same everything.
    Fine, I’m OK with that.
    But… riddle me this Batman…
    Tell me how a marginally talented straight NFL or CFL player would be treated by fans or media if they left their team in the beginning of the season for a “personal matter” for TWO FREAKING WEEKS, and it turned out to be (apparently) because they broke up with their girlfrend?

    I think I can tell you….They would be cut from the team.
    Owners would determine they did not have sufficient mental toughness to be a team member.
    Media would skewer them for being given preferential treatment and compare it to any other job situation and show how none of the rest of us get this kind of treatment.

    But because he is the “first openly gay” player… he has been given so MANY opportunities, and everyone falls ALL OVER themselves to not “offend” the great and powerful LBTGQ lobby and adherents.

    Thumbs down my comment all you want with your self-righteous political correctness, but it’s just the plain truth.

    The emperor has no clothes and nobody wants to say it.

  12. Being entitled isn’t always something you choose. But getting to walk off a team and the GM doesn’t know why, to coming back without issue is the DEFINITION of entitlement.

    As for himself, the Oprah documentary is pretty damning for your claim he wasn’t seeking attention.

  13. Since when do you report on dudes that can’t get on the field in the cfl?

    I’m a thankgiving day touch football hero. Would you like an interview?

  14. These are the same things CFL guys always think and say when a guy who couldn’t keep up in the NFL thinks he can show up and sleep his way to stardom. Only difference is that since this guy is on a media pedestal all these ‘anonymous” CFL guys are getting asked about it more often than with other players who came. Can you blame them? In Canada the whole gay thing doesn’t hold as much attention, we are 10 years ahead of the curve on acceptance, hence the surprise over being asked so many questions about an unremarkable football player.

  15. Anonymous has no choice but to be anonymous. Due to the PC era, anything remotely derogatory of gays and lesbians and your life is thrown to the wolves. So being anonymous is simply self preservation.

  16. ReligionIsForIdiots says:
    Jul 2, 2015 2:23 PM

    Sam is a TRUE american hero!

    So I take it you are one of the 1.7% of Americans that is gay according to a major CDC study, and therefore he is a hero? Michael Sam is a non-story, and has been from the start. Who cares? I suspect the LGBT community used, and abused, Michael Sam for their agenda, ignoring what was best for him. That doesn’t make him a hero.

  17. ‘Before he was drafted by the Rams in 2014, there was a spate of anonymous quotes from around the league about concerns that he would be a distraction. Those concerns turned out to be unfounded’ I was trying to think of a response, but every time I think of this, I start laughing all over again. You guys should write for SNL.

  18. Those sources are ripping the media more than they are Sam. And rightly so. But it hardly helps this media outlet to admit the truth; this is a media-created story.

  19. “Of course, it’s easy for people to rip Sam while hiding behind anonymity”.

    No it’s easy to rip Sam even to his face. He came out for the same reason every gay comes out. For attention. His is up.

  20. My problem is that there are even BIGGER issues not being covered.

    – Crompton hurt. LeFevour out for the season. Als down to their third-stringer Brandon Bridge. Where’s the story on that?
    – Drew Willy injured for the Bombers. Where’s the story on that?
    – Mike Reilly out for an extended period for the Eskimos. Where’s the story on that?
    – Darian Durant out for the season with a ruptured achillies. Where’s the story on that?
    – Trevor Harris throws for 350 in the first game of his stint replacing Ricky Ray for the Argos. Where’s the story on that?

  21. Hasn’t been a distraction? Really? How has he not been a distraction when his mere presence causes the idiots in the media to repeatedly ask anyone within ear shot how he’s doing, what he’s doing, if they do or don’t like him, what they think of playing with a gay player? Not a distraction? HA !!!!

  22. First there was the overly dramatic and prolonged kissing of his boyfriend when selected by the Rams, I’m not sure that was his best course of action considering it’s the NFL and most of it’s fans consider themselves rough and tough heterosexuals. Then he ran away from the Alouettes for a couple of weeks, have no idea why but to the average football fan of the CFL or NFL he must have had some issues there(may not have been but since there was no explanation from him, his agent, or the Alouettes, we will think the worst.)Up to now he has been his own worst enemy, He needs to settle down and play some good football otherwise this will be his last shot at professional football.

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